WordPress: The advantages & disadvantages of self-hosting

I recently made the leap from WordPress.com to self-hosted – which in simple terms means that I bought server space and installed WordPress’s free software to run my own blog. It didn’t take long to see the downside of the transition. Traffic increased unexpectedly, my web host freaked out, and caught between a rock and a hard place, I moved my blog back to WordPress.com.

Since that time, I have contacted several other web hosts and asked about how they would have handled the same situation. None of them have guaranteed that they wouldn’t have handled it the same way, but BlueHost does look the most promising with their shared hosting CPU protection. If and when I decide to make the jump again, I will probably be giving them a shot.

If you’re still reading, you might be interested in knowing why I’d want to leave WordPress.com where I get relatively free hosting and don’t have to worry about behind-the-scenes things like server overload and backups. I say “relatively” because I do pay for certain things – like my domain name, domain mapping (connecting the domain name to my blog), and the ability to edit my CSS file. All of that runs me about $35/year. While self-hosting would cost a bit more annually, it would give me access to many more options… and responsibilities.

Advantages

  • Thousands of themes at the click of a button
  • The ability to edit the functions and display of my themes & CSS files
  • Thousands of available plugins (add-ons that can be used for virtually anything on a blog you can imagine)
  • Total control over my own website
  • Option to add advertising or keep blog completely ad-free
  • Ability to access and backup my files via FTP
  • Managing my own database
  • Excellent resources online for fixing almost any WordPress problem
  • Can add Google Analytics for in depth reports on traffic to site

Disadvantages

  • Worrying about site going down because of spikes in traffic
  • Worrying about backups
  • No direct support for WordPress software (only via other users)
  • Being responsible for installing updates for WordPress and any activated plugins
  • More money out of pocket
  • Virtually no traffic from WordPress.com blogs

It seems that the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages… at least for me. =)

Random thoughts

I hate winter. I used to like it, but the ice storm we had in January completely changed my perspective.

I heard on the radio the other day that two books in the Bible, Esther and Song of Solomon, don’t mention God. Strange.

Pineapple Express is so freakin’ funny.

I am learning to not judge my paternal grandparents so harshly. They are who they are, and they aren’t going to change any more than I am. I’ve been spending quite a bit more time with them since going to work for my father, and it never fails to amaze me how physically fragile they have become.

We have been doing little projects around the house lately. One of the things we are planning to start within the next few weeks is replacing all the stained/varnished doors and trim with white.

Chris Brown is an idiot… and so is Rihanna for going back to him.

Do they really expect people to not continue calling it the Sears Tower?

Honey went with his mother to put their dog to sleep yesterday. Sparky had been with the family ever since he was a puppy and remained there after both Honey and his sister grew up and moved out of the house. Needless to say, it’s a great loss for all of them, but especially his mom.

I played Poker for the first time last night when we stopped by the home of our friends, Todd and Kelly. It all seemed terribly confusing at first, but I did pretty good once I figured out it was all about the ability to bluff.

I am making the switch from Microsoft Expression Web to Macromedia Dreamweaver for managing websites. It’s quite a bit different visually, but I think it will be far superior once I get used to it.